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Difference between TCM and Western Medicine

Difference 1

What do you see from the picture?

Western medicine says it is a flower bottle. TCM says that it is a picture of two human heads.

Both medical systems deal with only part of the human body, not a whole. None is perfect or "wholistic".

Difference 2

What do you see from the picture?

Western medicine says it is a picture full of small colorful dots.

TCM says it also shows a reversed letter "S" and a number "9".

What do you see ?

Both medical systems deal with the same objective (human body). Their conclusion is different since the angle of view is different.

Difference 3

Please see what is in the picture:

Western medicine says that it is number "6". TCM says that it can also be a number "9".

Others say that it is wrong, because the number six should be written as “六”,and number nine should be “九”.

See, the conclusion could be quite different depending on people's knowledge area and level and other factors. For people who never learn Arabic numbers, he may regard the picture above nothing.

Western medicine doctors never learn to practice Qigong. How can we expect them to understand Qi in our body? What you cannot understand does not mean it is wrong or unrealistic.

How do you think?

Difference 4

Look at the pictures. Please make a classification for them.

Western medicine says that we should put the cow and chicken in the same group and the grass into another, since cow and chicken both belong to "animal" but grass belongs to plant. It is the way our scientific education system teaches and trains you when you are young!

TCM says that we can have another way too. We can put the cow and grass into one group and the chicken into another. This is because the cow and grass are in the same biological link. If in a year the cow grows well, we can make a conclusion that the grass in that year must also grow well, vice versa. We cannot make such prediction whether the chicken in that year grow well or not.

TCM recognizes the human being as a part of the universe and the nature. Anything happens in the nature could affect the function of our body. It also understands the physical and pathological biology of the body from outside, not from the inside. The body functions are all summarized into Yin and Yang in principle and into five-element in practice, e.g. based on functional links, not as analytical (structural) links. Therefore TCM is to make complex things simple by summarizing co-related things together, while Western medicine makes things simple by isolating a given factor from various complex other co-related things. It may work for non-alive things, but quite often it is not a good way to understand complex biological lives. This is why the conclusion made by such analytical way is hardly reproduced in complex human body.

Difference 5

Another example to tell the difference between TCM and the conventional medicine is to make a statistic for a population of a city. Conventional medicine will count the population in each zone or community. Such counting is easy and useful for the city planners to plan the development of the city, for where to plan a road, electric line, school, or church, etc., but it is hardly to be used to tell the prospect of the city.

On the other side, the TCM counts the population according to its professions: how much teachers, how much doctors, how much people working in construction industry, oil industry, traveling agents, or as government office, etc. People work as the same profession certainly live and work in different community of the city, but the number of them allow the city government to predict the future of the city. For instance with the crisis of IT, we could tell how much people who are now the IT employee might be influenced and how much the EI imbursement might have to be issued soon. Similarly with the reduction in the house price in Edmonton, we can predict how much labor in the construction industry might become job loser.

The conventional medicine tends to search the structure-linked information, whereas the TCM pays much attention to the function-linked information of the body. Therefore in TCM, the kidney, the bone, the teeth, the ear, the brain, the urine bladder, the sexual ability, the hair, are all linked together as the whole KIDNEY SYSTEM, which is hardly understand by the conventional medicine.

Difference 6

Western medicine and TCM both are strongly influenced and connected to its culture habits. Western culture is pretty much as "looks like", while Chinese culture is pretty as "image like". Here is an example in painting. In western painting, there will be painting oil on every part of the painting cloth and the painting looks very much a photo picture. When you see the painting, you seem to look at a photo.

In Chinese painting, it usually has empty space on the painting paper. It leaves a space for you to "think" and to 'image" (see following painting).

Similarly in medicine, Western medicine pays much attention to the "details (to tissue, to cells, to molecular and to genes), while TCM pays much attention to the "whole".

In clinic work, Western medicine emphasizes "cut" and "kill" by the outside efforts (chemicals or surgery), while TCM takes much care of the body's own ability to heal. The amount of herbs used by TCM may not really parallel to the severity of the disease.

Difference 7

Western medicine still is a "developing" medical system. It is still under the way to develop its new theory and find new tools to solve old clinic problems. Ask your western medicine doctor, how many chemical drugs are available in market for more than 10 or 20 years without kicked off and how can he ensures that the medicine he prescribes to you today will not be kicked off the market after several years? If he answers that it is impossible to know the side effects of a drug without testing it in clinic for years, then how brave he is to use an unknown chemical to human? Western medicine is as a car driving in a fog day. It falls into the ditch again and again. Though it can do organ transplantation, kidney dialysis, or gene therapy, it cannot help people to solve disease in an early stage, without spend money to do such things.

On the other side, it can be said that TCM is a kind of "developed" medicine. Its theory about body structure and function, about the relationship between human body and its emotion, spirit; between human being and environment factors, nature factors, universe planets, times, all are established thousands years ago. It is still the "bible" to guide TCM daily clinic work. No any one thereafter can deny the deep wisdom and knowledge in the bible, as well as the accurate of it in clinic guidance. The development of current science can only improve its theory and admit its far advanced knowledge.

TCM focuses to prevent the occur of disease, prevent the development of a disease to later stage. From history, it is the advantage of TCM that makes the surgery in TCM less developed. Surgery is left the only way for western medicine to proud it self, since the developed surgery in western medicine suggests its failure in its ability in internal medicine area. How many diseases can be cured without surgery? Ask this question: if the current western medicine is so advanced, why one out of nine women in Canada have risk of breast cancer? The incidence of breast cancer in China is only one out of thirty women!

Millwoods Acupuncture Center is located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and serves Edmonton and its surrounding area, including: St. Albert, Big Lake, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Devon, Beaumont, Sherwood Park, Calgary, Red Deer and Whitecourt, Barrhead, Westlock, Wetaskiwin, Camrose, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie. Our clients also come from Vancouver and Saskatoon.

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